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Bending back wards is excrusiating, bending forward not so bad

I got an MRI that showed mild L2/3-34 bulging and mild L4/5-L5S1 protrusion with BL central stenosis and foraminal stenosis. I did all the conservative treatment. Saw a surgeon and he told me I have none of the above but a dried out L2 not associated with my symptoms. He diagnosed me with sacroiliac joint dysfunction without doing any of the tests. With this SJD is it supposed to hurt directly on the spine on about 3 levels lumbar in addition to a stiff lower back that radiates around the front of my hips. I also have numbing in my left foot and weakness in that leg with certain positions or if I stand or sit too long. My groin area is constantly cramping and if your a woman you know the cramping im talking of. I can't stand for more then 20 minutes or my back begins to hurt and I find if I "baby" my left leg the feeling in my back is not as intense but still horrible. Somedays I can sleep through the night others I'm tossing and turning all night trying to get comfortable. If I go to the grocery store I need to lean into the cart to make it easier to shop. So much as opening a heavy door is a struggle. I feel it in my back. These symptoms, all with the acception of the numbness and weakness which appeared 3 weeks ago, have been consistent since the injury occurred 4 months ago. The one symptom that set me aside from your typical disc herniation is it hurts badly to ben backwards and just stiff to bend forwards. i am beginning to research facet joint syndrome. idont understand how the MRI findings can be different from 1 doctor to the next but from what i am starting to understan is this is a common occurance. Any input is appreciated.


  • if you have some spin slippage (spondylothesis)? If you have this when you bend your spine shifts and can cause pain. I would google this and see if some or all of your symptoms match. I had a grade 1 (least amount of slippage) with some other issues. I just had a lumbar fusion to stablize my spine. Also check out the back pain and back surgery forums. You will find a lot of good information in both.

    Many times it can be hard to diagnose this condition. Sometimes it takes a CT scan or a flex xray to diagnose. Mine, although a grade 1, showed prominently on my MRI scan. You can see it if you look at my profile picture. It is at L5/S1.

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
  • I have a dr appointment this week, this is something I will ask him to exam me for. It seem almost all the symptoms are very similar to all the conditions. It's frustrating, after 4 months being treated for a herniated disc the surgeon tells me he doesn't see it. I guess misreading of mri's are pretty common. So back to the drawing board. My doctor told me there are so many pain generators in your back so it is sometimes a challenge to locate the culprit. I'm ready to have my life back I will tell you this much. I didn't realize how real back problems are until I experienced one first hand. I am not sure how to read the MRI so I couldn't tell you if this is something you can see from the MRI.

    I can definitely see your L5/S1 slip. Ouch! I wish mine problem was as visible as yours. Was your fusion a success?
  • it seems to be successfull but it is really too soon to tell as I am only about 2.5 weeks out. The hip and leg pain I had before the surgery was completely gone at first. Now I think that the nerves are waking up so I have been more sore the last couple of days However this is normal from everything that I have read. It could also be that my body is adjusting to the 6 screws and a rod that I now carry around. I would definitely ask your doctor about the slippage. It is typical that this will cause pain when you are bending one way or the other. It can't hurt to ask. Keep me updated. Love & hugs.

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
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